The debate for the best African player ever seems to have no clear answer. Some go for vibes over substance, others go strictly trophies, others go individual accomplishments, but all in all, the debate continues. I am not interested in any of that; I am here to tell you definitively who the best African soccer player ever is. Before I...
Harry Kane: Time to Leave Tottenham
With yesterday's goal against Dortmund, Harry Kane became Tottenham's all-time leading scorer in the champions league. Kane has grown into one of the best strikers in the world over the last 5 seasons and his goal total of 158 in that timespan would rank sixth in Europe's top 5 leagues.
At 25, Harry Kane is in no doubt among great company but his trophy count leaves much to be desired, or really all to be desired with a grand total of 0 trophies won to his name in his short career. Tottenham fall short season after season and with the club's refusal or rather inability to acquire top class talent, the two-time premier league player of the year has yet to play in a major final.
Don't let Leicester City fool you, long gone are the days where a single great goal scorer could lead a club to success like Alan Shearer led Blackburn to the 1994 Premier League Trophy. And even then, Shearer would only win one trophy despite a career that saw him finish as the premier league's all-time top scorer. These days, it takes a multitude of stars to get the job done and if Kane want's to take control of his own narrative, it's time he leaves his hometown club.
The way I see it, there are five options based on what Kane wants to accomplish.
1. If the goal is to break the Premier League goalscoring record as he's stated multiple times then the best move might be Manchester United. United offer Kane a chance to keep scoring in the premier league and a roster capable of success as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has shown over the last month. Lukaku's presence offers a minor obstacle but Kane is in no doubt an upgrade in the goalscoring department.
2. Kane's next option is a move to Real Madrid. After this season's debacle after the departure of goal scoring extraordinaire Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid are desperate for help. Expect Madrid to go all out this summer and what better option than one of the greatest goal scorers in the world. The issue is British players tend to struggle to adapt outside of the country and Kane need not look further than former teammate, Gareth Bale's treatment to be turned off by the potential move.
3. The least realistic option is Juventus. It had been 26 years since a British player last played for Juventus but the signing of Aaron Ramsey may be a sign that Juventus are willing to reopen those avenues. A goalscoring tandem of Ronaldo and Kane may be the push Juve needs to get over their champions league hump. But while Juve isn't strapped for cash, very rarely do they make a big splash in the transfer market and Harry Kane would definitely require a big splash.
4. Next up is Bayern Munich and if Lewandowski finally follows through with his threats to leave, Harry Kane is Bayern's best option. With Harry Kane, Bayern secure another elite striker and one that is five years younger than Lewandowski. A move to Germany wouldn't be the worst thing imaginable especially if Kane wants to play for a club with a legitimate chance at winning the champions league. The problem is Bayern have an aging roster and a lot of the players that made them a dynasty over the last decade are struggling to reach the same level.
5. The last option is Barcelona. Suarez has grown more inconsistent over the last two seasons and at 32 it seems his best form maybe behind him. Barcelona have the wealth and the means to acquire Kane but the stylistic fit may be a little off. If Barcelona choose to pull the trigger, Kane would be an ambitious addition.
The most realistic option however is a bit unorthodox. Kane may just go wherever Mauricio Pochettino goes. If Pochettino stays he stays and if he leaves Kane will probably follow. Kane's meteoritic rise is directly tied in to Pochettino's appointment in May of 2014. Before Pochettino, Kane had a total of 21 goals in 91 career games, under Pochettino, Kane has recorded 158 goals in 221 games. Not saying Kane can't get it done without Pochettino but that kind of change in a player's success inspires loyalty to the manager who made it happen.
Whatever Kane decides to do he'll go down as one of the greatest strikers in premier league history but if he wants to take it to the next level he has to add the trophies to match the goals.
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